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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Kenosha, WI

    Looking for my first Viper

    Hello all,

    As the title states, I am looking to possibly purchase my first Viper in the near future. I have a decent amount of experience with Mopar and I have longed for a Viper for a long time. I know a little bit about Vipers, but I have never driven one or even had the opportunity to ride in one. I am looking for a car with the following things;

    • 1992-1995 Model Year
    • Prefered color is Viper Red, but I am open to other options
    • Mileage is not a big concern. I don't want a car with "collector-like" miles, I like to drive too much. I would even be willing to look at higher mileage examples.
    • No or minimal modifications.
    • Preferably maintenance records and documentation with the car. Once again, not a deal breaker, but prefered

    I am just wondering if there is anything I should be cautious for and if there is anything I should know before I seriously start searching. Thanks for any input and advice,


  2. #2
    Regional Membership Director
    VOA Mamba Member
    since 2013
    Steve-Indy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Hello, and welcome, Breck !

    My first suggestion is to take your time...don't fall for a glossy paint job, a long list of mods, or a bargain price.

    Recently, Viper Quarterly has published a series of articles on buying a Viper. One can order these back issues from VOA HDQ via a link on this site. The Gen I Vipers were covered in Volume 15 Winter 2018. Next issue covered Gen "1.5"...and so on.

    It is immensely valuable to hook up with owners in your area...usually via this site or through local Cars and Coffee gatherings. Get to know the quirks (and there are a few) of the various models within a given Generation.

    ALWAYS do your homework...meaning run the VIN !! Get a Carfax/AutoCheck(or both) and compare it(them) to the limited info that you can get on that VIN from a friendly CJDR dealer...realizing that the dealer cannot provide names or addresses of prior owners. You are interested in service history (if any), recalls, TSB's, warranty repairs, etc. I always check for recall compliance on the Chrysler self serve site...noting that occasionally, one finds conflicting info that needs to be resolved.

    Always inspect the Viper in question personally both on the ground and on a lift...preferably with the assistance of an experienced Viper Tech who KNOWS that particular Generation. A local Club Member (or two) with experience has been known to fill in for a "Tech void".

    These are great cars...with lots of fun and bang for the buck...and, are fairly easy to maintain even by those with minimal mechanical experience once one is familiar with the Beast.

    Finally, I always suggest that one plans on spending another $6,000.00 to $10,000.00 over the purchase price in order to make 20+ year old Viper "road reliable".

    Best of luck with your hunt !!
    I don't send or receive "PM's" since I prefer DIRECT communication.

  3. #3
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Columbia River Gorge near Portland OR
    Gen 1 Vipers from 94-5 are a bit easier to source many parts for than 92-93.

    All G1 Vipers will need to have head gaskets replaced by 40K miles or so, many were done much sooner. EZ to detect/diagnose replaced or failing gaskets...

    If you find an Original example, rubber components are at end-of-life: 10 hoses, serpentine, tires, suspension and caliper boots/seals. Check the seat cushion resilience / foam may be hardening. Storage care matters.

    Soft Top may be deteriorating unless cared for properly, Expensive. A hard top is a bonus, and less trouble. I would not avoid a soft-top-missing G1 IF it has a good hard top.

    G 1 side curtain 'windows' are a nuisance too....will you drive on rain/cold in WI? {Im orig from New Lisbon}

    Do you have decent driving skills? 400 HP; Huge Tq.... no ABS, stiff suspension.... a LOT of Viper newbees "lost it" in forst 90 days.... good tires are IMPORTANT

    Good Luck. Call for more.... JonB
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~

  4. #4
    Enthusiast 99RT10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Get up with Mitch, he is in WI and can give great help in your search for a Viper(VOA member). There is a steal of a deal for a 2000RT on the FB site. A Gen 2 might be more civil. Real windows..............
    09 ACR With all the goodies
    99 ACR TT 99 red RT/10 Roe S/C
    97 B/W RT/10 TT 94 RT/10 TT

  5. #5
    VOA Member
    since 2018
    Bill W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Greenville, SC
    Breck, you have some invaluable advice from three extremely knowledgeable forum members in the prior posts. Good luck with your hunt.
    If you want things to stay the same, things will have to change.
    2002 Red RT/10


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